Document Type


Source of Publication

British Journal of Nutrition

Publication Date



Current cancer prevention recommendations advise limiting red meat intake to <500g/week and avoiding consumption of processed meat, but do not differentiate the source of processed meat. We examined the associations of processed meat derived from red vs. non-red meats with cancer risk in a prospective cohort of 26,218 adults who reported dietary intake using the Canadian Diet History Questionnaire. Incidence of cancer was obtained through data linkage with Alberta Cancer Registry with median (IQR) follow-up of 13.3 (5.1) years. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were adjusted for covariates and stratified by age and gender. The median (IQR) consumption (g/week) of red meat, processed meat from red meat and processed meat from non-red meat were 267.9 (269.9), 53.6 (83.3), and 11.9 (31.8), respectively. High intakes (4th Quartile) of processed meat from red meat was associated with increased risk of gastro-intestinal cancer Adjusted Hazard Ratio (AHR) (95% CI): 1.68 (1.09-2.57) and colorectal cancers AHR (95% CI): 1.90 (1.12-3.22), respectively in women. No statistically significant associations were observed for intakes of red meat or processed meat from non-red meat. Results suggests that the carcinogenic effect associated with processed meat intake may be limited to processed meat derived from red meats. The findings provide preliminary evidence toward refining cancer prevention recommendations for red and processed meat intake.




Cambridge University Press (CUP)


Medicine and Health Sciences


Alberta's Tomorrow Project, cancer incidence, cancer prevention recommendations, dietary intakes, processed meat, red meat

Scopus ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Hybrid: This publication is openly available in a subscription-based journal/series